How do you draw the line between overeactions, paranoia and hysteria? Think Salem Witch Trials if you aren't sure. We are all so quick to climb on the bandwagon, fanned by the flames the media, twitter, Facebook, or whatever has created. The desire to know more, as soon as possible, creates a kind of hysteria or mania to learn more and now. Why do you think flash mobs are possible? The spontaneity and the desire to be part of the action fuels this kind of mania.
One person's over reaction, leads to another, and another, and another. One person's freaking out, leads to others either to compensate for or as a reaction to their over reaction and things start to spiral.
We also do this on a smaller scale - in other words, we make mountains out of mole hills, or Everest out of mountains, even. We take the little things in life and blow them completely out of perspective. No a piece of ice is not going to fall out of an airplane the second we take a step outside. If we take a ride on a motorcycle, we are not going to die. If we fly in an airplane, it is not going to crash. If we cross a street, we are not going to get hit by a bus. If we go to the doctor, they are not going to tell us bad things. We end up letting these little paranoia's get out of control and take the enjoyment out of life.
Part of coping with life's ups and downs is learning how not to overreact to the little things. With cancer, you get hit in the face with a nasty diagnosis and continue on the life long roller coaster, facing the ups and downs and learning to cope so we don't blow things out of proportion. Then you learn to deal with the little things in life that matter in a calmer manner. Cancer treatment may leave bald, fat, and scarred but you are still alive which was the goal. Or would you prefer the other option?
A little bit of over reaction can be helpful when it allows you to vent your emotions and frustrations. There is nothing wrong with going home and crying, screaming, throwing things across the room, or chopping up firewood to relieve some of the stress. But then your reactions need to get in control so you don't continue a life that is running crazily amok, stressed out at all the little things for no reason. It may take some work, or even some therapy, to learn to stop making mountains out of mole hills, but its called balance. But balance is what leads us to a happier life.